Ghosts, Goblins, COVID-19 and Flu

While gearing up for haunted houses, costume parties or other spooky fun this weekend, it’s suggested to also prepare for potential sniffles, fevers and coughs – because cold and flu season are back. However, there is no need to catch a fright – here are some common symptoms, tips to prevent illness this season and testing options available to you.

COVID-19 community transmission remains high across the United States, there is a resurgence of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is anticipating an early and possibly severe flu season. With this ‘perfect storm’ of respiratory illness,healthcare providers will be challenged to accurately diagnose and treat patients presenting with similar symptoms over the coming months.

COVID-19 Symptoms and Flu Symptoms

COVID-19, flu and other respiratory infections present with similar symptoms. The CDC reports that both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from none, to severe. Common symptoms include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/having chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Change in or loss of taste or smell

Staying Healthy this Season

To help prevent the spread of infection and promote health this season, the CDC recommends you use these strategies:

  • Get your vaccines
  • Wear a facemask – cover your mouth and nose
  • Wash your hands – well and often
  • Get tested/get screened
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Practice other good health habits

The Flu and COVID-19 Testing

BioReference offers various diagnostic tests that can assist your healthcare provider in accurately detecting and appropriately treating your illness, including a combination test, which tests for COVID-19 and flu at the same time. If you suspect you may have the flu, COVID-19 or other respiratory illness, seek guidance from your healthcare provider and talk about appropriate diagnostic testing.

On-Demand Specimen Collection for COVID-19

BioReference is an established leading provider of COVID-19 testing and is pleased to bring COVID-19 specimen collection service directly to you with Scarlet Health. If you are experiencing symptoms, or think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay safe and stay put, and let us come to you. With Scarlet, patients can request a COVID-19 test*, and a Scarlet Health Professional will come to you at your home to collect your PCR COVID-19 test specimen, and deliver it to a BioReference facility for testing.

Get Your Test Results

If you’ve recently gotten any laboratory tests completed – COVID-19, flu, or other – your test results are at your fingertips with the HIPAA-compliant, secure BioReference patient portal. Access your most recent laboratory reports, review previous results, pay your bills, and update your insurance information – all online here.

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Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

*Includes Wheel Health licensed healthcare provider oversight. Please confirm the specific test requirements with venue or event prior to purchase. High laboratory demand might lead to turnaround time delays. Please note that turnaround time starts upon receipt of the specimen at the laboratory.